Where I Am Now
Let’s first start out with some basics. Now some of this may seem like unnecessary information but comparing it to my past, it’s meaningful but that’ll become more apparent as you keep reading.
I currently sit at 190 pounds and have been at this weight for about a year now. I am 6’4 and have about 9.5% body fat. I lead a pretty active lifestyle in comparison to what it used to be. I frequent the gym 3-4 a week, go out to social gatherings another 2-3 times a week and work 5 days a week.
Typically, I now know my body well enough to indulge in many treats and eat out as much as I like; but, due to habit, the days I do eat out or perhaps eat a few more calories than what I would have liked, I tend to control myself and eat a little healthier the next day or push myself a little more in the gym that week.
Basically, I have no barriers diet wise when I am out and about, as I know I will make up for it at another time. This may seem like a chore, having to ‘make up’ when I over eat or eat out, but in reality it’s part of my life now and I don’t think twice about it. As I said earlier, it’s a habit. Having restricted the quantity of food during my weight loss helped reduce the size of my stomach and it now gives me the ‘full’ sensation much quicker than before.
It’s important to note that I frequent the gym for aesthetic reasons and I do say this because I lost around 80% of my weight without ever stepping in a gym. I’ve been consistently going to the gym for about 4 months now and I’ve been at this weight for about a year just so you get an idea. I’m not trying to discourage you from going to the gym during your weight loss, quite the opposite, I insist on it. If I had started earlier I would have met my weight goals a lot sooner and would have reached some physique goals I set out for myself.
Now, before I continue I do need to clear up a common misconception. I’ve come across a surprising amount of misinformed people that truly believe that going to the gym will make them lose weight while paying no attention to their diet and then wonder why spending 2 hours at the gym 4 days a week gets them no where. Dieting is key, I can’t stress this enough.
My self confidence is through the roof along with my energy levels. Perhaps this sounds a little shallow and could possibly be wrong as it’s based off my observation opinion, but people treat you better when you look better. It sounds unfair but it’s a reality even for guys.
You get a lot more smiles, a whole different attitude, and way more help anywhere you go. It opens you up as a person a whole lot more than you would think. It unleashes hidden potential in the person you are and turns those ‘what-if’ situations into experiences that last you a life time.
Where I Was
Now for a deeper and more personal look into my life. I knew my weight was a huge problem and it affected me in more ways than I had thought. I wasn’t aware being morbidly obese brought me as many problems as it did. I had the more obvious problems such as difficulties getting to sleep and couldn’t keep asleep due to shortness of breath, weak heart, and general joint pains, accompanied by lesser known problems such as sensitive skin, back pains and weak knees.
I had extreme issues with my self confidence and had turned more or less into a hermit and the sad part is, it was a gradual change which seemed to go unnoticed. I found myself avoiding social interactions at any cost. I figured out how to work from the comfort of my own apartment and aided by today’s modern advances made my lifestyle very sedentary. I would even constantly order groceries and fast food to my doorstep.
I feared social dues so much that I would reject calls from friends or family, faked sick to get out of them, or would pretend to be busy. In retrospect and from an outside point of view it definitely seems pathetic but when you don’t properly embrace who you are as a person, nothing feels right.
Now keep in mind; this wasn’t always like this. I had a great social life and I was pretty active growing up. I played tennis from an early age until mid teens, enjoyed weekend mountain biking through trails, among a variety of other team sports and aquatic activities along the way.
Without meaning to somewhat relate to a popular film’s villain; I over-ate because I was depressed and I was depressed because I was obese. It was a vicious cycle which only grew worse. I had insatiable hunger and would commonly have food binges in hopes of finding temporary comfort. I would sit down and eat a whole medium pizza from any popular pizza place by myself and would continue eating disregarding any feeling relating to being full.
I couldn’t watch T.V. without a tub of ice cream or big bag of potato chips on my lap. I was more focused on the quantity of food, instead of quality. If I went out to a restaurant I would order based off what would have the most amount of food instead of what I may desire the most and it would actually cause me some anxiety if I felt the serving may be smaller than anticipated. Food was controlling me and it had to stop.
What I Did
You can’t start to fix a problem until you admit it and really face it. I knew I was fat, but really admitting to being morbidly obese? No way, those are the people on T.V. Not me. HAH!
I finally faced my problem and noticed how unhappy I really was. I remember how I would avoid mirrors without really meaning to; I saw my reflection one day and on this particular day I felt happy, or so I thought but the mirror showed a sad, deformed, unrecognizable figure staring back at me with a false smile. I wasn’t living, I was getting by day to day promising myself I would start dieting tomorrow. Too many tomorrows came and went before I had enough of it. There is no better time to start dieting than right now. Excessive calories are accumulative and the longer you wait, the more excuses you’ll find. Whether it be a holiday coming up or knowing you’ll be enjoying some cake at friend’s birthday party, there will never be a better time to diet than now.
I tend to be very skeptic about… just about everything really. I read some books, went online and really started reading just about every article I could find about nutrition. I didn’t want to just diet. I wanted to understand how it worked. How food impacts you as a whole and why different foods accomplished different things.
I understood the importance of scheduling and quantifying certain food groups such as carbohydrates and proteins. Most importantly, I listened to my body and limited myself and set portions of food. I’ll be writing specifics on my diets in another post.
Sure, I went to sleep hungry for a while but I was eating like a regular person and it really is such a small sacrifice to pay for such a huge reward. I had goals in mind and I wouldn’t stop until I met them. I knew my body had fat reserves to take from and starving wouldn’t be an issue. I started using tools to motivate me and keep me on track, I graphed my progress for a few months and took pictures. Progress feels slow and mirrors will lie but your pictures and your scale won’t.
I hit some bumps along the way, even some plateaus, but I never got discouraged. I tried several diets, the keto diet being one of my most successful ones, but eventually created my own diet based off the newly acquired knowledge in the world of nutrition set to my liking and right for my body.
I had become somewhat pedantic (long gone now) towards the end of this endeavor, but I truly enjoyed the journey. This has been the best decision I’ve ever taken concerning my health and will never regret nor forget it. It’s made me a better person both physically and emotionally, I’ve learned to appreciate life and what it has to offer. I see the world behind new eyes and feel limitless.